Israel says it has conducted dozens of operations in Syria to stop what it says are advanced arms deliveries to one of its main foes, Iran-backed Hezbollah.
The UN chief's words come after Israeli forces were forced to defend the Golan Heights against attacks from the Iranian Quds Force based in Syria.
The Syrian Human Rights Organization reported Saturday that at least 27 supporters of the Assad regime were killed in an Israeli strike in Syria on Thursday.
Richard PompeoTrump thanks North Korea for vow to dismantle nuclear site North Korea will open air space, invite media to cover dismantlement of nuclear test site Pompeo off to fast start as Trump's top diplomat MORE said on Sunday that it is "ludicrous" to suggest that recent tensions between Israel and Iran are a result of the USA withdrawal from the nuclear deal with Tehran.
Although Israel has struck Iranian targets in Syria several times in the past, Trump's announcement to leave the multilateral Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) earlier this week has led Israel to intensify its assault. But the Israeli Air Force has had to be wary of Russia's ultramodern air-defence umbrella of jets and missiles over Syrian air space.
British Prime Minister Theresa May, in a phone call with President Trump, also condemned the rocket attacks against Israeli citizens, and she and Trump called on all nations to recognize the risk Iran's actions pose to worldwide peace, according to the White House.
Amos Gilad, a former major general in Israel's military, who spoke at a key security conference on Thursday, says Israel acted to prevent all-out war in the future. Without Russia's support, Iran's position in Syria is precarious. Iran's force of Shia militiamen from Iraq and Central Asia has been useful for controlling Syrian territory but would be little more than cannon fodder against Israel.
The Israeli military stated that the Israeli Air Force strikes severely weakened Iran's military infrastructure in Syria, crowning the air raids "a great success". But Hezbollah has lost an estimated 2,000 fighters in Syria in recent years and attacking Israel would trigger a ferocious response.
Iran, then, will probably attack directly. More recently, after Israel's 2008 assassination of Hezbollah mastermind Imad Mughniyah, a Hezbollah bombing killed seven Israeli tourists in Bulgaria. "The Iranian economy is in a bad state, and there's an internal debate in Iran". In the longer term, hardliners in the Iranian government will nearly certainly resume Iran's nuclear-weapons development program to match Israel's nuclear arsenal.